There's nothing official about USA Today's ad ranking, but it has come to carry weight in the ad world. Now it's social too.
Facebook members will be able to help decide which Super Bowl ads are the best this season thanks to a partnership between USA Today and the social network. Together the two are launching an application called the USA Today-Facebook Super Bowl Ad Meter, which for the first time will open up the newspaper's influential rankings to the general public.
USA Today has published its Super Bowl Ad Meter every year since 1989, ranking the Super Bowl commercials from best to worst. Traditionally, focus groups judge the commercials on a scale of one to 10 as they watch the game.
This year, anyone will be able to register their opinions on the commercials by using the app, which will live on Facebook as well as USA Today's web and mobile properties. The paper is not abandoning its use of the focus group, simply augmenting its results with the opinions of the public.
While there is nothing official about the USA Today ranking, it has come to carry considerable weight in the ad world. In 2008, Careerbuilder helped boost the visibility of the Ad Meter by citing its commercial's poor showing as a primary reason for firing its agency at the time, Cramer-Krasselt.
"The creation of the USA Today-Facebook Super Bowl Ad Meter is going to give millions of people the ability to not only interact with the various Super Bowl commercials, but to rate the ads and share with their friends on Facebook," said Mike Hoefflinger, director of global business marketing at Facebook. "Making the Ad Meter social brings it to an entirely new level and we're proud to be a part of it."
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Douglas Quenqua is a journalist based in Brooklyn, NY who writes about culture and technology. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Wired, The New York Observer, and Fortune.
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